Most runners know that running long distances usually comes with some soreness, but very few runners understand what is going on in their muscles and joints that make them sore or know how to deal with the problem. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explained why long distance runners get pains and tightness in their legs and muscles. The article also provided runners with two surprising, but effective remedies to help combat their pain: cherry juice and pickles.
Experts say that pain and tightness in the legs usually occur because there is some micro-tearing going on inside of the muscles, which can’t function well under such high levels of stress. When this happens, the insides of the muscles become inflamed, causing pain and soreness. This is where the cherry juice helps. Cherry juice is rich in antioxidants, which fight some of the muscle inflammation from the micro-tears that cause pain. Several studies have shown that runners who drink the equivalent of 45-50 cherries (one serving of Cheribundi) before, during, and after a race, experience less pain and inflammation than those who do not. Over 90 professional sports teams and hundred of professional athletes drink Cheribundi to reduce pain, train harder, and recover faster.
In addition to hurting from micro-tears, muscles begin to become soar and stop functioning like they should when they no longer have the proper amount of electrolytes, which conduct electrical impulses that enable muscle cells to contract. This is where the pickle juice comes in. Electrolytes are formed in sodium, and while sports drinks have electrolytes, pickle juice has about as much concentrated sodium as any liquid that athletes have been able to stomach during intense exercise.
Although pickle juice isn't widely available at most marathon water stations, drinking it is not a new strategy. The Philadelphia Eagles drank it during a 2000 game against the Dallas Cowboys when it was 109 degrees. The Eagles won.
Sources: WSJ Online